- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A group of New York activists plan on burning the American flag at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, New York, leading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Disarm NYPD’s “Burn the American Flags” event has almost 300 RSVP’s and over 1,300 “likes” for its event, which will take place Wednesday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. The event is held, in part, as a response to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre that killed nine black parishioners in South Carolina. Dylann Roof, 21, who is white, was arrested in connection with June 17 killings within 24 hours.

“We cannot ignore the roots of Dylan [sic] Roof’s savagery in America’s long history of institutionalized racism and murderous violence against black people. The Confederate flag, which Dylan Roof proudly displayed, is a lasting symbol of slavery, segregation, and the racist exploitation that still dominates our society. Dylan Roof isn’t an isolated actor — he is a product of a consistent pattern of state-sponsored terrorism and racialized dehumanization in America,” the group said on its Facebook page on June 25.

The group clarified its aims after multiple media outlets, including The Blaze, picked up on the planned flag burning.

“We do not believe the ideals of America are anything to be revered. We are building something that will be much better than America. While the so-called patriots yell that we should just leave, we instead choose to dream,” the group said early Tuesday. “We dream of what real freedom looks like: freedom from paramilitaries occupying our communities, beating and killing our sons and daughters; freedom from our communities being destroyed by the speculative capital of gentrification; freedom from mass surveillance; and freedom from systemic racism.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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